California Throws Open COVID vaccines to anyone 65 and older

CalMatters: California Throws Open COVID vaccines to anyone 65 and older (January 13, 2021)

California is opening COVID-19 vaccines to all residents 65 and older — an announcement that comes amid a slower-than-expected vaccination rollout and growing frustration among seniors most vulnerable to the virus.

State health officials had previously declared that California would focus on vaccinating health workers and nursing home residents, with seniors 75 and older and certain essential workers to follow. But people over age 65 make up the majority of hospitalizations and nearly three-quarters of the COVID-19 deaths.

State vaccine advisory commission member Denny Chan, an attorney for Justice in Aging, which advocates for low-income seniors, said that while he is glad to see more seniors prioritized, there are still immediate concerns with people in nursing homes — many of these facilities are still awaiting vaccines, he said.

“We also have not heard a strong response on how to reach homebound older adults who can’t drive to Disneyland or Dodger Stadium,” he added, noting that many older adults don’t have reliable transportation or live too far from the vaccination sites. “We really need to think about how we’re going to reach those people.”

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